Five players appear to be joining the list of athletes not returning to the Central Michigan basketball team this season.
Forwards Auston Barnes, Zach Saylor and Colin Voss along with guards John Morris and Jorddan Myrick have not shown up for the six-week summer workout program. The Chippewas have already lost scoring leader Trey Zeigler, and assist leader Austin McBroom, to transfers along with guard Derek Jackson and forward Jevon Harden, who were dismissed last month due to academic issues.
“We don’t have a final roster and we’re not closing any doors right now,” said head coach Keno Davis. “I’m being careful to not close any doors until we understand exactly what’s going on with every player.”
If those five players do not return to CMU, that leaves just four returning players from last season’s roster.
Senior guard Finis Craddock, senior forward Olivier Mbaigoto, junior guard Luke Wiest and sophomore guard Austin Keel have all shown up for summer workouts.
Of those four, Mbaigoto is the most prolific offensively, averaging 7.1 points per game last season.
Craddock’s future with the team is also unknown following a drunken driving arrest in April. He was convicted late last month of driving while impaired, knocked down from an original charge of driving while intoxicated, and sentenced to six months probation. He was “indefinitely suspended” in April.
“We’re going to have high expectations for our players on the court, off the court and in the classroom,” Davis said. “If those aren’t met, then there will be repercussions.”
So far the team that has shown up this summer have met Davis’ expectations. He said he hopes a young team will result in a deep bench.
“I was hoping with … young players that our effort would be there, and my expectations have been met,” Davis said. “We’re going to be able to play nine or 10 players in rotation and hopefully we’ll be able to beat teams on our depth.”
Along with being young, the Chippewas will be guard heavy with a roster full of shooters. Every player that has arrived to practice this summer has the ability to shoot behind the arch, Davis said.
He will need every second to implement his offensive and defensive schemes.
“We have an opportunity for these young guys to go through these stages and see how good of a team we can become,” Davis said. “It’s really important for us to use every minute we have on the court.”